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AGRICULTURAL NEW5 OF THE WEEK Number 129 Wednesday, June 18, 1952 Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas FARM R E A L__E S T A T E __ V A L U E S Farm real estate values in the United States rose an average of 2 percent during the h months ended March 1, according to data released la s t week by the USDA. The United States Index of farm real estate values in March stood at 211 (1912-15 = 100), compared with 193 a year e a r lie r . . ' From March 1951 to March 1952, farm land values in Texas rose an average of li| percent; Arizona 11; Oklahoma and Louisiana 8; and New Mexico 7« As compared with pre-war, land values in Arizona are up 137 percent; New Mexico 182; Oklahoma 185; Louisiana 136; and Texas 159» Demand for farms is weaker than a year ago, says the USDA, because of risin g farm production costs and lower prices for many farm products; a lso , the large amount of cap ita l required to buy and equip a farm makes i t d if f ic u lt for tenants and young men to sta rt farming. The farm mortgage situ a tion has tightened during the past year and in terest rates have risen., More buyers require credit to finance their purchases and lenders require larger down payments. The to ta l dollar value of farm land and buildings in the United States is estimated at $9H«6 b illio n dollars as of March 1, 1952. The ”average farm” is now worth between $17,000 and $18,000. C O T TON Spot cotton prices have made further s lig h t gains in the past week. On Tuesday, June~177'l^dTing*T5/l6-inch cotton closed at 1|0,30 cents per pound on the Dallas market, compared with U0.15 cents a week earlier and 39.35 two weeks ago. Cotton futures have risen sig n ific a n tly above a month ago. October 1952 futures closed Tuesday in the New Orleans market at 37.33 cents per pound, compared with a low of 35-.95 in May« Weather conditions in the Southwest during the past week generally have been favorable fo r“ cottony"although some south High Plains counties remain dry. Cotton planting and replanting was active in the High and Low' Rolling P lain s. Light to heavy insect and worm in festation has been reported from cen tral, east, and south Texas; there is a heavy in festatio n of pink b o ll worms in parts of the Rio Grande V a lley , GRAINS Further weakness is noted in the wheat market. On Tuesday, June 17, No. 1 hard wheat sold on the Fort Worth market at a top price of $2.57-1/2 per bushel, compared with $2,51 a week earlie r and $2.75 early in May. , Oat prices have regained most of the losses of the f i r s t week in June. No. 2 white~5oats brought a top price of $1.05-1/2 per bushel Tuesday, compared with the low of $1.03 on June 7. Sorghum grain prices are holding steady as compared with a week ago, although the current top price of $3.29 per cwt. in Fort Worth is 6 cents under the la te May peak. Corn and barley prices are showing l i t t l e net change from week to week. L I V E S TOCK Prices of most kinds of livestock declined on the Fort Worth market la s t week, due to the ample supplies of meat in trade chanels, competition from imported Page 2 meat, and a sluggish demand fo r replacement c a ttle , calves and sheep. Sheep and lambs suffered the heaviest lo sses, with prices fa llin g $1.50 to as much"as""$5700 to $o.00 cwt, during the week. Beef steers and yearlings declined 50 cents to $1.00* Good, Choice and Fancy kinds of fa t calves -and lig h t yearlings and stocker calves brought strong p rices, but other kinds, were o f f . Plain stockers sold at the lowest point in years. Hogs declined 25 cents to 50 cents in Fort Worth la s t week and are quoted th is week at a top price of $20.75 per cwt. The January-May shipment of ca ttle th is year into the Blue Stem - Osage pastures of Kansas and Oklahoma totaled an estimated 332,000 head, compared with 361,000 in 1951 and 335*000 in 1950, according to BAE. P O U L T R Y ___ A N D E G G S ■ Egg production in Texas during May totaled 317 m illio n , according to BAE estim ates. This compares with 31*6 m illion in A pril and 301 m illion during May 1951* Production for the f i r s t fiv e months of 1952 was 9 percent above that of the same months la s t year. The egg market in central Texas was firm to mostly 2 cents higher on United States graded eggs la s t week. Prices ranged from 32 to \\3 cents per dozen at receiving sta tio n s. Broi le r markets in Texas are steady to firm this week. In Gonzales broilers or fry e rs, a l l weights up to 3*25 pounds, are bringing 28 cents th is week. In Nacogdoches and Center birds under 3 pounds are quoted at 27 to 28-1/2 cents. In Waco and Corsicana, a l l weights 3.31 pounds down are quoted at 27 to 28 cents, MEXICAN LABOR A G R E EMENT A new Migrant Worker Agreement has been signed by"the United States and Mexico. . Under the new Agreement, worker, s contracts can be extended for as l i t t l e as 2 weeks instead of the former 6 weeks minimum. Ranchers may obtain migrant laborers fo r work with c a ttle and sheep for up to 12 months» Previously, Braceros could be used only on vegetable crops. . A.minimum wage of 50 cents an hour w ill be paid migrant workers, or more i f the going wage in the area is higher. The present recru iting station at Aguascalientes is to be moved to Durango which is 250 miles closer to the border, M I S C E L L A N EOUS Blackberries were quoted in Lindale, Texas and v ic in ity th is week at 12 cents per pound to growers. Demand is good. Potato prices are d eclin in g. Farmers around Pittsburgh, Texas in the Northeastern parr, of the State are receiving li cents per pound th is week vs. 5 cents la s t week. Farm employment is risin g seasonally but is below a year ago. During the la s t week in Mayv farm employment in the south central states - Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana - totaled 1,583,000 compared with 1,630,000 a year ago. The decline was due ro a reduction in number of family workers; the number of hired workers was up s lig h tly . W. M. P r itc h e t t A g r ic u ltu r a l Economist